Jenny Hval is one of the greatest musical manipulators in the English language. His ability to express both abstract ideas and visceral impulses through song is all the more impressive given that English is his second language. Born in the Bible Belt of southern Norway – a stark and stuffy cultural landscape she describes in detail in her latest novel, Girls Against God – she left as soon as she could. She moved to Australia for college, started a band there, and worked on her first book. At first she tried to write it in English before switching to Norwegian, although it has now been translated back to Paradise Rot.
Physically too, Hval eventually returned to her home country and settled in Oslo. But musically, she remained faithful to her adopted language. She released her debut album, Cigars, in 2006 under the name Rockettothesky and has been mutating both her sound and her lyrical approach ever since. Under this nickname, then under her first name, which she re-adopted from Viscera in 2011, she released seven solo albums, four full-length collaborative projects and three EPs – a body of work that spans heady experimentalism. , poignant and deceptively sweet cultural criticism. art-pop. Tomorrow, she’ll share Classic Objects, designed as her simplest album to date but still containing multitudes.
Last month, she spoke to Raphael Helfand of The FADER about the separation of art and self, the paranoid style in postmodern music, and her new puppy, Cleo.